Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Memory 10: My Gift to Jesus

My grandmother used to have this tradition that we used to do every year on Christmas eve when we were over at her house. She had a white gift box that she placed on the fireplace, and in it, it contained pieces of paper all written by us from the year (or two) before that was our gift to Jesus. We were supposed to write down something that we would do better in our lives that next year as our gift to Jesus. We would promise to pray more, read our scriptures more, be a nicer person, think of Christ more, etc.

The following year, we would open up the gift and read what we had written and decide whether or not we had done what we said we would, and then we would write a new one. This was a tradition that never really carried over, but I still like the idea of giving a birthday present to Jesus and having it be something I will do better the following year.

This year, my gift will be to be more Christlike through and through; read my scriptures more, pray more, and just be nicer and less judgmental of people. It'll be difficult, but it's for Jesus, so I'll try my best.

Happy Birthday Jesus, and Merry Christmas to all of you!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Memory 9: Secret Santa

Every once in a while my family would pick two or three families to play Secret Santa for and drop off some goodies. When I was younger, I remember there was one time at one of the big family reunion Christmases that it was supposed to be my turn to take the basket and ding-dong ditch the house. I was too scared to go because I was afraid I'd be caught, so my aunt ended up going, and I still kind of regret not doing it.

Luckily I've had more opportunities to do it since then, like there was one time that for Young Women's we were supposed to each take turns doing one of the "12 days of Christmas" for a family in the ward. We had made all kind of stuff for them, ornaments, food, I even think we made them a tree skirt. That drop off was fun, until when I was running away I slipped in some mud and totally fell and got mud all over me.

But, one of my all time favorite secret santa dropoffs wasn't exactly for Christmas time. My freshman year at BYU, me and a few friends decided that we were going to do the "12 days before finals" for one of our favorite professors. He had had a party at his house, so we knew where he lived, and we had paid attention through the semester to see what he liked. We did crazy stuff, like we knew his favorite state was Massachusetts, so we got a bunch of things that MA was known for (Boston baked beans, the first post office-stamps, etc.). I even think we made him a mixed CD of some Christmas songs.

I was the get away car, since I was the only one in the group with a car, so I had to park down the street aways and duck down. At first, they got away with just running back to the car, but then our professor got hip to our  arrival and he started coming out and looking for who it was, so they'd have to stay hidden. He would send his son out to go look around the house and investigate. Then he started making comments in class, like he was going to set the dogs out. No one else had any clue what he was talking about, but we did. We almost got caught several times, but we didn't let that stop us.

Towards the end of the 12 days, we had 11 of our classmates write thank you notes to him or things they appreciated about him etc, and then the last day we gave him a really nice framed photo/painting (or maybe it was a figurine, I forget now). The last day, he had left a note on his door for us. Telling us that they'd really like to know who was dropping off these presents because they wanted to thank us in person. They told us to knock and stay so that we could come inside and enjoy some hot chocolate etc. I think we did decide to stay, but when we knocked, no one came to the door. So, we figured it was for the best and just left.

He figured out it was us since we took another class from him the next semester and he asked us. He told us that he was very thankful for our kindness because he hadn't been doing very well and was considering retiring and not teaching anymore. But he said that because of our gifts, he realized he needed to keep teaching because he was making an impression after all.

Favorite Secret Santa moment ever.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Memory 8: Some I Don't Remember But Are Told About Every Year*

One of these I do remember, but these other memories, my parents tell me about almost every year.

My mom told me that my very first Christmas I had gotten put in a pile of all the Christmas wrapping paper, and I got so excited that I started flinging it around and sucking on it. Here's a picture of proof:

When I was four, I had (apparently, because I have no recollection of it) really wanted a doll house. But, my mom found this girly Lego-type house and playground instead (because a dollhouse was too expensive). My parents always want everything set up from Santa, unwrapped, so that it's all cool and awesome when you first see it. My dad decided he wanted to put the house all together for me. So, my Uncle (this was one of the big family reunion Christmas years) told my dad that he should superglue it all together so he wouldn't have to build it again. So my parents and my aunt and uncle stayed up till 2 or 3 in the morning gluing and putting together this dollhouse (that I don't remember at all. Awesome, right? Totally worth it.).
Funny thing was, they had to break it apart to put it back in the tub so that we could go home with it. Hilarious.

The last one that I do remember was one year I really wanted this:
I absolutely loved that thing. It came with hot chocolate mix and tiny cups and stirrers. I made my dad put it together and then make me hot chocolate so many times, and I made him drink out of those tiny cups that he got really tired of it. But he did it anyway because he loves me. :)

*Note: Some assembly required.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Memory 7: A Christmas Gift I Remember

I know after 24 years of life, I've gotten plenty of Christmas gifts. Some I still remember, some I vaguely remember, some I still have, some have been long forgotten or have been repurposed (I'm pretty sure several of the stuffed animals that my mom now has under one of our Christmas trees were previous Christmas gifts to me). But, after thinking about gifts I got when I was really little, there was one I remember all too well.

When I was three, I got this little gem:

I used to play with this thing all the time. And I mean ALL the time. I went around the house singing any tapes I could get my hands on. I'm pretty sure it was a Bryan Adams tape and a Wham tape (but my mom doesn't think so, but I remain convinced those are the tapes). I do know I had some kiddie tapes as well, including this:
In fact, I listened to that chipmunk tape so much, that my parents got super annoyed and threw it away and convinced me that it got lost.

Oh the lies of Christmas.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Memory 6: Gorky/Bernard The Elf

Remember how I talked about how my family has the tradition of the elf bringing us pajamas every year? The reason for the tradition was mainly when we were younger, so it could get us to go to bed. So when Gorky (or after The Santa Clause came out, Bernard) brought our pajamas, we knew it was time for us to go to bed because Santa was on his way.

I always loved it because the door bell would ring and we would open the door to find a basket of pajamas for all of us. We would rush outside and look in the sky to see if we could see the reindeer or sleigh that the elf had borrowed.

I always thought it was great how Gorky/Bernard always knew our sizes and the kind of pajamas we wanted. Although as the elf and us got older, sometimes he'd forget what pants were for who (read my mom couldn't remember which pants she bought for which kid). My parents got tired of the elf for awhile and would always say that the elf had died in a freak accident and couldn't do it anymore. But we'd always say that Santa had plenty of other elves to help out, so we still got pajamas anyway. When I discovered the truth about Santa and therefore the elf, I got to be the elf a few times.

The ploy would be that my mom had the basket already to go and sitting in an inconspicuous garbage bag in the garage. Then, my dad would demand that I take the trash out. I would begrudgingly take the garbage outside to the trash can and also pick up the "other" garbage bag. After disposing of the evidence, I'd sneak around to the front of the house, set the basket down, ring the doorbell and run like hell to the back of the house again. My parents would always stall for me so I'd have some time to come back inside, and my younger siblings would all ask if I saw the elf since I was outside. I'd make a big show about how I saw something so that's why I had run back in (since I was breathing heavy from ding-dong ditching my own house). They'd tell me I missed it and he totally brought pajamas while I was taking the trash out, and I'd act sad that I hadn't seen anything.

Once my other siblings discovered who the real elf and Santa was we each had to take turns being the elf. The last year when Marin found out, she got to be the Elf and we had to pretend because she hadn't gotten a turn. Now that we all know, my mom just pulls the pajamas out of her closet and doles them out to us (still confusing whose pants are for who). Ahh the joys of pajamas from Bernard the Christmas Pajama Elf.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Memory 5: Why We Have a Fake Tree

So according to my mom, when I was really little we used to have a real tree every year. But, then my parents discovered how much neater and cheaper a fake tree was, and for as long as I can remember we've always had a fake tree. But, there was one year when we decided to venture into the long forgotten world of a real tree.

I could be wrong, but I think we got inspired when we went to have Thanksgiving in Chicago with my Aunt and Uncle and we went with them to chop down their Christmas tree (I was amazed you could even do that. I always thought that was only in movies like Christmas Vacation). We decided that we wanted a real Christmas tree too, so the next year we drove out somewhere in Nowhereville, Texas to a giant Christmas tree lot to pick out a tree. We went the already cut route, and took it home with us.

Our family always decorates the Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving. So, that's when we got the tree and decorated it. It looked beautiful with the ornaments and lights. My mom even let my dad put tinsel on it (which she hates cause it's messy, but that's what my dad's family always did on their tree), so it made it all shiny and sparkly. The nice pine scent was in the air, and it wasn't because my mom had lit a pine-scented candle. The picture perfect, real-life Christmas tree.

The problem was that we had to keep the tree alive till Christmas. Turns out that it was a huge problem.

About a week and a half before Christmas, that beautiful, picture-perfect real-life Christmas tree was looking like a decrepit, mug-shot, dead as a doornail, pathetic Christmas tree. A ton of the needles had already fallen off, all of the branches were drooping to the ground, causing many of the ornaments to just fall off. It was pretty sad. So, we took all of the ornaments and lights off and threw the tree in the backyard and put up the fake one.

And that's why my family has always had a fake tree ever since.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Memory 4: Lights

So, as I mentioned in my previous Christmas memory, my family always goes to look at lights. I feel like this will be something that we'll always do no matter how old we are. Although, as of late we've grown cranky and impatient in our old age and have gone earlier in December so we could avoid the crowds. But there have been specific houses and lights that I remember loving to go see:

When I was younger we used to go to my grandparents' house in El Paso every other year for Christmas (it essentially was our family reunion). And every time we went down there, on Christmas Eve, we would go to this one neighborhood that would be lit up. So many people would come see it, that they made you park outside the neighborhood and walk around inside; no cars allowed. For some reason, I like walking; you can appreciate the lights for a longer amount of time and not worry about hitting the car in front of you while you are looking at them. Anyway, there was one house I loved because they made it look like the top of their Christmas tree had to stick out of the top of the roof. Favorite house, every time.

When my family moved to Plano, we discovered this neighborhood off of Legacy, called Deerfield. At the time, it was a new developing neighborhood and to try to get people to buy the houses, they decided to have everyone put up Christmas lights to get people to come. It's become a tradition ever since, and nowadays it's just kind of gotten annoying because they have carriages, limos, and buses, not to mention all the regular cars that come. Don't ever go to Deerfield on Christmas Eve in a car. You'll get stuck and be in that neighborhood for hours. Anyway, there's a few houses that I love seeing in Deerfield: there's one house that has a big window above the door with several wooden archways inside that makes it look like a castle. (This one has nothing to do with lights.) The other house is one that every year they make a snowman, a Santa, and a toy soldier all of balloons. I don't know how they do it or keep them together or if they have to redo it because the air goes out of the balloons, but I love it, every time. There's a new house in recent years that has been featured on the national news that has over a million lights (or some ridiculous number like that) and it's all set to music. It's very bright and cool, but I still like the balloons.

The last house I used to love going to actually doesn't get decorated anymore. My parents discovered it, I forget when, but we started going every year. But, about 5 years ago or so, the owners of the house decided they were getting too old to put everything up (they started in October every year taking everything out and setting it up) and stopped. But, this one house was on a corner, and every square inch of their front yard would be covered in display cases and lawn displays and lights. They had a case of penguins, peanuts characters, a flipping TMNT, some Looney Tunes characters, several Santas, angels, a few nativities, and tons of other things. This was one you definitely had to get out of the car and walk around because it would be decorated all the way up the walkway. It was intense. I loved that house. I'm just glad it wasn't mine.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Christmas Memory 3: Traditions

There are certain traditions that my family does every Christmas Eve (in no particular order):
  • Our big Christmas dinner where we have steak and shrimp and lobster and/or something else equally delicious. 
  • We read the Christmas story (you know the important one about Jesus).
  • We go out and drive around to look at Christmas lights.
  • We open one present on Christmas eve, which for me always ends up being the card one of my grandparents sent because I want to save the cool stuff for Christmas day.
  • My dad reads The Polar Express, and it has to be my dad, and he has to ring a bell when he's done. (If you've read it, you understand why).
  • We all know when it's time to go to bed because Santa's elf comes and brings us pajamas! (Although this one we've kind of altered since we know the truth, but this tradition will be better explained in a future Christmas Memory post).
And the thing with these traditions is that if we don't do these I get upset. I don't know why, but I do. Last year we went to another family's house for dessert on Christmas eve and while it was fun, I didn't want to be there that long because we had to get home to do all of the traditional stuff! Yeah, I know. I'm weird.

But one of my favorite traditions is singing Christmas carols, but not just any Christmas carol. It has to be The Twelve Days of Christmas. I think this is one my grandparents started doing, and I like it so much that I make my family keep doing it every year. (It's just not Christmas unless we sing it.) But, it's more than just singing. There are actions that go with all of the verses, and you go faster and faster as you go along so by the time you get to the 12th day, you're ready to sit down because you're tired and out of breath. I remember when I was younger singing it at my grandparents' house and watching my dad, uncle, and grandfather all constantly pulling up their pants as they performed the song. What's hilarious is we always forget all of the verses every year, so we're always stopping and trying to remember.

This one was recorded a few years ago, but here's the last verse to give you an idea:

Friday, December 10, 2010

Christmas Memory 2: A Little Humor For the Holidays

Being the oldest child, I was the first to find out the truth about Santa Clause, but I also got to keep up the charade the longest for my siblings. Sometimes it was fun, getting to help set out my siblings presents, eating a few of Santa's cookies, and filling the stockings while they had to go to bed (although, my parents always made me go to bed before they put out my gifts so it'd still be a surprise for me too).
Other times it was hilarious:

One year my brother, Cameron, was about 9 or 10 years old and he desperately wanted a scooter. But not just any scooter, a Razor scooter. It had to be a Razor and it had to have blue wheels. He had been bugging my parents for one and had told Santa in person and in letter form exactly what he wanted.

Being the dutiful loving parents that they are, my mom and dad bought Cameron a scooter from "Santa". Santa's gifts are always left unwrapped and are just placed in front of the tree. So as I helped my parents put out Santa's presents (except for mine) on Christmas eve, I noticed that there was no Razor scooter. Instead there was this:
A finger scooter.

Don't worry, the real Razor scooter was there hidden in the backyard, but Cameron didn't know that. I thought it was hilarious, but I couldn't wait to see the look on Cameron's face Christmas morning.

I wish I had taken a picture. His reaction was so funny, I about died of laughter. He held it up with this disgusted look on his face, clearly upset that Santa did not understand his request. We tried to convince him. "It's a scooter!" we all told him. "That's what you asked for, right?" "Maybe you should have been more specific." He didn't know whether to be sad or angry, so he just kind of was shocked. Then he got mad. Especially since we were all laughing hysterically.

Before it went on too long, my dad pulled out the real scooter from the backyard, and Cameron's faith in Santa was restored and he was happy again. I still look back at this memory and laugh.

That Santa has a great sense of humor.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Christmas Memory 1: Light Bulb Hell

In the period of 3 days over Thanksgiving (not counting the holiday), my family (either one or two or all of us) made a trip to Target 8 times. Six of those times were Christmas light bulb related. Here’s why:

The day after Thanksgiving is when my mom makes my dad go up to the attic and drag down all of the Christmas decorations: lights, trees, nativities, Santas, snowflakes, advent calendars and all. Once my dad brings everything down, him and my brother(s) start putting up the outside lights, while my mom, sister, and I put up the Christmas trees and various other d├ęcor inside.

Well, when my dad and brother started putting up the outside lights, several lights were out on the icicle lights. So, my dad and brother ran to Target to get some more light bulbs, thinking that it’d be cheaper to just replace the light bulbs than buying all new icicle lights (because the kind of icicle lights we have aren’t made any more). Oh how wrong he was….

As my dad started replacing the light bulbs in the outside lights, my mom and I proceeded to put up our 9-ft Christmas tree, only to discover that the entire top part of the pre-lit tree was out. My mom and I figured it wasn’t that many at the top, so we could replace the bulbs. So, we started pulling them out and noticing that it never seemed to end. So we made another trip to Target to get more replacement lights (since we ran out of the bulbs that they came with).

But, Target, it seems, doesn’t sell just bulbs, so we had to buy strands of mini lights and take the bulbs out of those strands to then turn around and put them in the strand that was out. My mom replaced all of those bulbs on the top of the tree… guess what. Still didn’t work. So she just wrapped a separate strand around the tree and you couldn’t even tell. Then… the bottom of the tree went out. So we had to get another strand to wrap around the bottom.

Then my dad realized there were more lights that were out in the icicles, so he bought a light bulb checker and more strands of lights at Target. My dad, my brother, and I spent all night checking every freaking bulb in those icicle lights (5 or 6 strands… I can’t remember now; it’s all a blinding blur). After sustaining some injuries, we got all of them to work and we called it a night.

The next morning my dad finished up checking the bulbs, made sure they all worked, and then put them all up on the house. And then after putting them all up and plugging them all in, he discovered a short in the wire because every third strand of icicle lights was out. That’s when we decided to go back to Target to get all new icicle lights. Came home and put those up, and it would appear that everything was again right with the world.

Until my mom started putting up our 7-ft, family Christmas tree… The whole middle section of that tree was out. We knew by now that it would not be worth replacing the bulbs (because the bulbs on this tree were shaped differently and so we wouldn’t be able to just buy more). So, we had to go back to Target to buy more strands of lights.

I might be missing another trip to Target somewhere in there because we went so many times that I honestly can’t even remember the individual trips. It just seems like we were just there all day. We will more than likely be buying a new tree or two at the after-Christmas sales for next year. Let’s hope this light bulb hell won’t happen again.

Oh, and guess what… yesterday, a middle section of the 9-ft tree went out. Luckily we had an extra strand of lights from a previous trip to Target, so my mom wrapped that around the tree. If another part goes out, we’re celebrating Christmas in darkness, ghetto tree and all.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Tis the Season

While it might seem like I'm a huge fan of Thanksgiving (not that I'm not), I absolutely love Christmas (there's just a time and place for it without the need to have it encroach upon other holidays). Because the past few years I've felt like I really didn't get into the Christmas spirit much or too late, I've decided to try something to get me in the mood.

I've helped put up Christmas decorations in my house, I've started buying various gifts and started thinking about others, and I've already bought stamps for my Christmas cards. (Side note: I'm totally going to send out the most awesome newsletters to go with the cards. So, hope you get one because it's going to be talked about for years to come and everyone will try to model their own after my super fantastic one. I'm just sayin'.) But here's what's going to help me even more:

Throughout the next few weeks leading up to Christmas, I'm going to blog about my favorite Christmas memories. I would say I'd do one everyday till the 25th, but I know I wouldn't be able to keep it up, and since it's already the 2nd I'll have missed a day already. So, instead of being super ambitious, I'm going to try to do a couple (or more if I feel inspired) every week. Some will be funny, some hilarious, some short, some long, and some just really sweet and spiritual. It will just depend on what I remember and what mood I am in.

I'll title the series "Christmas Memories" and then a number/subtitle so you can keep them separate from my other blog posts on general things (I've already got a couple in the works, one being my summary of my first semester of grad school.). I would start tonight, but I'm super tired and the one I want to start off with (this year's) is kind of a long, involved, but humorous, story that I'm just not ready to type up at the moment.

So, with that said, be on the lookout for my "Christmas Memories" posts. The first one I'm hoping to type up by this weekend. Woot Christmas!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

You ever have one of those days...

When one problem comes after another and it seems like it won't end and you won't get anything done because you keep having to deal with more things that keep cropping up and so you never finish what you're working on, and you can't focus because you are freaking out about deadlines and pleasing people and making sure you're doing what you're supposed to and that you're counting down the hours until you go home, only to realize that you have more crap waiting for you to do at home, which makes you think that maybe the stuff you're dealing with at the moment isn't actually as bad as you think because at least you're not having to deal with these other things only instead you just end up worrying about it all at the same time so you really don't accomplish or complete anything because you are too scattered and stressed to focus on one thing and you just want the day to be over with even though it seems to drag on and on (much like this sentence) and you just want to be at home in bed on a weekend because it means you've finished all those things you are currently freaking out about and are worry free?

Yeah, I have had that kind of day two days in a row (more so on Tuesday) now. If it happens for a third day in a row, I'm taking a mental health day or week and just staying in bed.

Can you tell I just want it to be Christmas break already?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

My Major Award

That's right. I won something. It is a rare occurrence in my life (although I'd be lying if I said I'd never won anything ever because that's not true), but occasionally I am lucky enough to win some pretty cool things. Well, just recently I won a recipe book!
I won it from my friend Ashley who has an awesome foodie/cooking blog! She has some great stuff on there! I made pumpkin chocolate chip cookies from a recipe she posted, and they were delicious! I'm so excited to use my Rachel Ray cookbook that I won! Thanks Ashley!

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Thanksgiving Has Officially Secured A Place in My Heart

No, not the actual eating and making of meals, but the idea of dedicating a day in which to be grateful for everything and everyone that is in our life. Too often we forget or take for granted all the good things in our life because we concentrate so much on our problems, troubles, and worries. We get too caught up in the day to day monotony of our existence that we don't stop and think about how we are actually alive today and breathing or how we just witnessed a beautiful sunset and how we can see it.

I realize it's easy to go about our business because if we stopped to reflect on all the wonderful things in our life, we wouldn't get anything accomplished and turn into a hippy without a job or home in which to be thankful for. I get it. It makes sense. But that's my point. If every once in a while we take a moment to appreciate what we have, all of the other crappy moments in our life don't seem quite as crappy: In comes Thanksgiving.

I think we all know how I feel about the overlooking of this great American holiday. You don't? Well check out this post and this one. Since over the years I've become more passionate about the world recognizing this holiday, I decided to do something about it in my small little way. What is it, you ask?

I'm sending Thanksgiving cards.

That's right. There is a tiny section of cards at Target that are just for Thanksgiving, and as I passed them the other day, I decided, "Why not?" and I totally bought them. Yes, yes I did.

So if you are one of the rare few (I only bought 12) that receives one of these Thanksgiving cards it means I care about you and am very grateful to have you in my life. For those that don't receive one, don't worry. I still love you and am grateful you are in my life, I just didn't have enough money to buy a bunch of cards and stamps to mail one to everyone I'm thankful for.

With that said, be thinking about what your blessings are to prepare for the upcoming holiday. I hope your lists are super long by the time the turkey comes out of the oven. And, if you don't celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you at least take a day sometime soon to contemplate everything in your life that you are grateful for. I promise, it really changes your attitude and helps, pardon the cliche, turn your frown upside down.

And yes, Kraft counts.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Threadless Threads Run Deep

Most of you know that my love for Threadless shirts runs deep. It was a love affair that started back in college, and it has continued ever since. I first noticed a guy in my Spanish class wearing what I thought was a rather amusing shirt of two squirrels:
I asked him where he got it, and he directed me to the now beloved Threadless website. I took a gander at a few, but I was a poor college student and couldn't afford to buy humorous shirts, so I forgot about it. It wasn't until later that semester when another friend posted on her blog about the upcoming Threadless Holiday sale that I decided, why not?, and bought my first Threadless shirt:
It didn't fit quite right (which is probably why most of you have never seen me wear it), but I didn't let that stop me. I bought others, and now I have so many that I probably have enough to wear a different one every day for a month.

Well... do I? A few friends got me thinking about how many I actually have. So, let's count and see. Here are all the Threadless shirts I own in no particular order (besides the aforementioned "Vegetarians Are Eating the Rainforest" one):
This has seen better days and has some bleach stains, which is why I don't wear it too much.

This one I recently acquired in hoodie form.

It's not pictured, but at the bottom on the inside of the shirt there are 4 other little monsters (which is what the arrow is pointing to).

Another one that doesn't fit quite right, so I don't wear it much.

Ok, I think that's all of them. Counting the vegetarians one, I own 18 Threadless shirts (including 1 hoodie). So not enough for a month, but 10 shirts away from all of February on a non-leap year. A few I don't wear very much, but I still love them all the same. There have been others that I've wanted but they have been sold out and have yet to be reprinted, and there are others that I have bought for friends and family, too. I've even been tempted to buy a few prints, but at the moment I have nowhere to put them, so I've resisted.

But, clearly:

Sunday, October 17, 2010

My Personal Aesthetics

Ok, so remember last post how I said I've been working on this school project and I was stressing and worried I might die? Well, I finally finished it (well at least the main part of it; I still have to write the one-page paper that goes with it). It took me 3 days, but it is complete. So, I thought I'd share. :)

The point of the project is to show a visual representation of my personal aesthetics, also incorporating quotes from the philosophers we've studied previously that support our definition of aesthetics. Let's see if you can guess what my definition is by watching the video:

What did y'all think? Believe me, it was hard for me to cut out and down some of these clips. I had many more video clips, like from Mother, Dead Poets' Society, and Bright Star and various other film favorites (when I had the raw footage of everything I wanted to include all together, it was 45 min. long). But, our teacher said it should be about 5 minutes, and this is 6:20 minutes. (I'm hoping she won't notice.)

If you couldn't tell from the video, what I see as beautiful is really anything that invokes or conveys an emotion, whether that's through music, color, landscape, or reality. The main thing is that I value things that portray reality and make me think or contemplate what it is I'm viewing and why I'm feeling the way that I am.

I just hope my teacher realizes that and gives me a good grade. I'm already having difficulties with this class/teacher (another blog post for another, less stressful time), so we'll see what happens.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Just a Quick One

I just wanted to post something real quick, mainly cause I'm avoiding doing homework... I mean I'm taking a break. :) I am alive, and if I can get past the 20th, I'll be doing much better stress-wise. I feel like I haven't done anything fun for a long time, which is why I'm really looking forward to this upcoming weekend. On Friday I get to hang out with my friends and watch Young Frankenstein (which I love), and then on Saturday we're going to the State Fair of Texas!

These last few weeks/weekends I've been cooped up in my house doing homework and reading and writing up stuff for school, and I have had little to no social interaction with anyone outside of school and work. Even though I'm trying to not think about the fact that this fun-filled weekend is the weekend before a presentation/project is due in both of my classes, I'm really hoping to just relax and not let that fact keep me from enjoying myself. Let's hope I can do it.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

My Favorite Thing About School

I don't know if you know this, but my favorite thing about school is when I learn something in one class and can form a connection from it to another class or to real life. I know it's super nerdy of me to say, but it really is something I love and I've missed it. When I was getting my undergrad, I loved being able to connect something I learned in one class to something I was learning in another (especially if it was within the same time period). I think it all goes back to when I was little:

When I was in preschool/daycare, as soon as I came home I would watch Sesame Street and then Batman (dun na nuna nuna nuna duna nuna nuna nuna BATMAN!). I thought it was the coolest thing ever when the letter they learned on Sesame Street was the same letter I learned at preschool! It didn't happen all the time, but when it did, I got so excited. I would shout out that I learned that letter too! Yeah... way cool.

Now, that I'm back in school again and really my classes are about making connections to what we are reading and studying about to what's going on in the real world, it's a little easier for me to recognize those connections. I still get excited though. It's like a brief little happy moment when I realize that I can relate something in the theory I'm reading to what happened to me last week or to a show I watched.

Want to see what I mean? Well, because I worked so dang hard on it and if you haven't done so already, you should check out my school blog post. It's all about the connections I recently had between my reading and a couple TV shows and movies.

Anyway... hope everyone is excited for the fall. I'm just hoping I won't die by the end of it. Let's hope these brief little happy moments can sustain me.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Ok, I Get It--From the Mouth of Babes

So lately I've been receiving the same message in everything I've read or heard. What is it? The importance of being yourself and also accepting others as themselves in turn. Last week I had finished reading a book that talked about this very thing, and then last Sunday at church, one of the speakers gave an excellent talk about loving yourself and loving others. Then, I read my little sister's blog about "Being us." (Side note: she also wrote another post right after that about sisters. It's cute and about me, and apparently without me she'd die. Who knew?)

Marin's post is a little random (very fitting since that's her blog title), but my favorite lines are the following:
"We think that if we have the cutest clothes or we are skinny and rich that we will be excepted (sic). But that is technically untrue. If we just embrace our differences instead of ignoring them we would be us, we would like our selves and if anyone says differently then they have a problem with themselves."

"We try to avoid people who aren't like us but we aren't any different."

"What is the thing you like most about you? mine would be my flaws because with out them I'm not me."

Clearly, someone up there is trying to get it through my thick brain that I need to be more accepting of myself and others. Ok! I get it. I'll try.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

My Brain Hurts--Part 2 of 2

Ok, now the second reason why my brain hurts: school. Granted, I'm only taking 2 classes, but after this last week I feel like I'm taking 5 for all the thinking I've had to do. After 2 years of not being in school, my brain's not used to it, and this last week it was in shock. First... let's talk about my classes.

My first class on Monday nights is my Aesthetics of Interactive Arts class. Basically it means were talking about what makes certain things interactive, what makes them art, and what makes them beautiful or not etc. The first class was pretty boring. We went over the syllabus and then we all introduced ourselves. It's supposed to be a mostly discussion based class in which most of our grade comes from several presentations we'll be giving throughout the semester. The thing is, we meet in a computer lab. It's pretty hard to have a discussion when half the class you can't see because there are monitors blocking your view. The other thing is that half of the people in my class are nerdy, quiet, mostly Asian people that want to be video game designers. Discussions are going to be AWESOME.

I do have to tell you though, there was this one guy in the class that I had to keep myself from laughing at when he was introducing himself. He came off as one of those "intellectual, hipster" types of guys only it seemed like it was really all an act. He said that he was "really into photography and painting" and that he "loves digital painting because you could be in Arkansas but people all over the world could see your art because it was digital and online unlike painting a canvas where only a few people could see it." Then our teacher asked him what he was planning to do after he got his degree (a Master's mind you), and he replied, "Oh, I don't know. I guess I'll go to New York and just try to hawk my paintings and photographs and just see what happens." Really? You're getting your Master's so you can go to NYC and hawk paintings? You don't need a Master's to do that. What's stopping you, buddy? Go do it now. Please.

Anyway, our second class was ridiculous because our teacher wanted to discuss what could be called interactive and it turned into a debate between a few students. I don't want to imply anything but it was the older adults in the class who were arguing that viewing a painting was interactive because you came away affected after viewing, but then the couple of young nerdy guys (one in particular actually) were arguing that the painting isn't changed and therefore it could not be considered interactive because interactive requires an exchange between two systems blah blah blah. There was one point where I leaned back in my seat and made a face of exasperation which the 3 or 4 people around me laughed at but then reciprocated that they too were tired of listening to it. Yeah... it was a fun class. Not. I'm glad it was Labor Day cause we didn't have class. But... the next time we meet our presentations are due. Anyone know anything about Suzanne Langer?

My next class meets on Wednesdays, and it's my Intro to Emerging Media and Communications. Now this one I'm a little more excited about, which is good since it's the program I'm going into. The teacher seems way cool and everyone in the class seems a little more communicative and easier to get along with. There are more people that have a communications background, and I don't feel quite as dumb around these people like I did with the video game programmers in my other class. Aside from a few that were rather self-promoting the first class (which I found a little more than annoying), I think it's going to be a good class. The first class we did the usual, syllabus, introductions, and then we read an article to kind of introduce the class. (To see my reaction to the article, check out my school blog.)

The second class, however, we were required to read Heidegger's and Marcuse's theories on technology and man and society. It was some pretty dense and confusing theories, and after reading it (some parts after several rereadings) I don't think I understood it at all. I came to class confused, and as it turns out, I was not alone. The rest of my classmates were pretty confused too. What made it great was that our professor, after we had expressed our confusion, said that when she was reading it she wondered why she had even assigned it. Awesome. Anyway, we kind of worked through it together using a board and diagramming the theory etc. After it was all said and done, my brain was hurting from doing all that thinking and analyzing what the heck these philosophers meant in their highfalutin language.

Hopefully my classes will get easier, I doubt it, but I can hope. WOOT GRAD SCHOOL!

Thursday, September 02, 2010

My Brain Hurts--Part 1 of 2

I've been meaning to update y'all about school, but these last couple weeks have been crazy and ridiculous and basically my brain has been hurting. Want to know why? Well... let's start at the top:

Let's first separate the two reasons why my brain has been hurting. One deals with class, the other deals with the crappy bureaucracy and regulations that is the UTD financial aid/bursar's office. Part 1 is the latter...

Thinking that my tuition should already be taken care of because I had accepted various loans and grants from Financial Aid, I didn't really worry about it too much until I noticed that my account a few days after the money was supposed to be disbursed wasn't showing up. I thought it was odd but thought... well maybe it just takes awhile to register. UTD has been I found out pretty slow in everything it does.

But, by Monday (the 3rd day of classes) it was still not showing up and I started worrying. I called the financial aid office on Monday and the machine said that wait times on the phone would take a long time so I should email them because it'd be faster. Ok, I thought, so I did. (Just so you know, as of today, I have yet to receive an email back and I sent both the general financial aid office address and the counselor over my part of the alphabet an email 2 and a half weeks ago.) Figuring that their machine was lying to me, I decided I would call them and just suffer through the wait time. I called them as I left work on Tuesday and as I pulled up to my house (a half hour later) they answered.

Apparently it was good that I called. They were holding my funds because I was registered as a full-time student, but I wasn't taking enough hours to be a full-time student. The lady then said it can be easily fixed I just have to send them an "Hours Adjustment" form, and once they process it, the money will go through. Ok, I thought, easy fix, no problem. As soon as I hung up the phone with her I printed out the form (I won't go into how ridiculous I thought it all was) and faxed it to them. Then on Thursday (when still nothing was showing up), I thought, I should call them just to make sure they got my fax.

So again, I called on Thursday as I left work. This time after 40 min. and I had changed clothes and was getting ready to head to the gym, they answered. Guess what they said? They didn't receive my fax. The chick couldn't find it. Ok fine, I will fax it again on a real life fax machine (I had used the computer before), and the lady on the phone assured me that my form would be processed before the deadline to pay (the following Friday).

Friday morning I sent a fax, this time from an actual machine at work and decided I should call them right after I send it just to make sure. Yeah... on Fridays, their office doesn't open till 1pm. So, I waited around till a little after 1pm to call them up to make sure they got a fax. This time I was on hold for 47 minutes before someone answered, and... surprise, surprise, this chick tells me again that they didn't receive the fax. By this point I'm more than angry since I've sent this form twice already and both times it hadn't gotten received. Realizing my frustration the girl tells me to scan it in and email it directly to her.

Well either I missed a zero in her email or she missed one, but I had a heck of a time emailing it to her. But, with the help of a coworker and the student directory, I finally got the right email and sent her my stupid form. She emails me back saying she received it and says that it'll take 5 to 7 business days to process. Ummm... it better be processed by Sept. 3rd since that's the freakin' deadline. I of course emailed her a similar statement in a nicer way than that, and she responds that she can't guarantee it and that I should seek out alternative payment like paying out of pocket, setting up a payment plan, or getting an emergency tuition note from the school.

After a couple days of cooling off because I was so mad, on Sunday I decide, just to be on the safe side, I'll go ahead and get the emergency loan from the school and figured, it would get paid off when the financial aid money came in so it's not like I needed to really worry about paying it.

On Monday I check my account... my form got processed and my loan money has gone through. Except, it still says I owe the stupid emergency loan. I take a closer look at my account and they have halved all of my loans and grants that I had been awarded (which you then have to halve again for each semester). The problem is I had only accepted a little bit of one of the loans anyway cause I didn't need all of it, but they halved what I had accepted not what I had been awarded.

This is when I broke down and called my dad crying. My dad told me he'd go with me to the financial aid office to get everything straightened out the next day. I hung up, drove to class, and sat in my car and cried some more. Mainly because I was tired of dealing with this financial aid crap and worrying about it, but then it turned into me thinking maybe I wasn't cut out for a Master's if I couldn't even handle dealing with the financial aid crap. Not one of my finest moments.

On Tuesday morning, my dad came with me to the financial aid office and waited in line with me for an hour and a half, and then sat and waited another 15 to 20 minutes for one of the head-guys to get out of a meeting, and then talked to the head guy to get it all straightened out. Isn't my dad great? I did buy him lunch afterwards though, so maybe that's why he stuck around.

Anyway, even the head guy thought what had happened was weird and didn't make sense (there were some other charges showing up on my account that shouldn't have been there) and he went over to talk to a guy at the bursar's office who said the same thing. Lovely. But, the head guy fixed it, changed my loan amount (so that I would get a refund) and got rid of the weird charge. He was super nice and very understanding. He was from New York, so we chatted a little bit about it and about how I want to live there cause I'm an editor, etc. It was the one bright moment during this whole debacle.

Now, it's all taken care of, I've gotten my refund, I don't owe, and I don't have anything to worry about.... well at least with financial aid. School on the other hand is another matter.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Back to School

Well, folks, the time has come. My first Master's class is on Monday. I'll admit, I'm both really excited and really nervous. I don't quite know what to expect. How much different will it be compared to my undergrad? How much more work is it? How will I not feel stressed ALL of the time? Will I ever have time to do something fun and not feel guilty cause I'm not studying?

I don't know; I don't know; I don't know; and I don't know are the answers to all these questions. Hopefully I'll figure out the real answers to these soon. But, I did get a little inkling to how one of my classes (I'm taking two, Aesthetics of Interactive Art and Intro to Emerging Media and Communications) is going to be because the professor (for my EMAC class) posted a tentative syllabus for us to look at. So, of course I read all of it. And this is what I discovered:

I'm required to have a twitter account (done), an email I check regularly (I have 2), and.... a blog (DONE!) Then I learned why I needed those things....

Blogging is 35% of my grade!!!!!! Then, another 10% is going to all of my classmates blogs, reading their posts, and commenting on them.

Ummmm what?

Yeah... ok....

I started thinking, oh no problem, already have a blog, but then I started thinking about what all I put on this here blog and about how... hmmm maybe I don't want my professor and classmates to read my personal musings. Not that I say really terrible stuff on here... but occasionally my posts are in fact rants... and while they are entertaining and cathartic, I might not want people that don't know me very well having access to them, at least before they get to know me.

So, after thinking about it a while, I decided to create an entirely new blog and twitter account just for school. You know as an attempt to compartmentalize and segregate my life. That and I figured you guys wouldn't want to read my 500-800 word posts every week on topics we've discussed in class (like society and media and how I feel about it).

BUT, in case you do ever want to see what it is my more professional self is discussing... here's the link to my other blog ( and my other twitter account (

And with that dear friends, I bid you good night. Wish me luck!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

I Heart This Song

Every time this comes on the radio it makes me happy:

"Who cares if you disagree? You are not me. Who made you king of anything? You dare tell me who to be? Who died and made you king of anything?"

Of course this other song by Sara Bareilles (Love Song) also makes me happy:

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Embracing Your Singleness--Step 3

This is the last step, in my opinion, on embracing your singleness (I'm all about keeping it simple), but if you are wanting a few more steps, check out this video below:
Now that you know why and how to start being okay with being single, it's time to have fun with it! Where is some place you've always wanted to travel to? What is something you've always wanted to do? Do it now while you're single because it will be a lot easier than when you're attached. For one, it will be cheaper. Paying for yourself to travel, eat, and shop is way cheaper than for two people. Also, when you travel with someone else, most times you will have to compromise with each other on what to do. Because while you can do a lot of stuff together, one of you is probably going to enjoy it more than the other.

When you're single and travel, you are on your own time table, and you get to do what you want to do because you don't have to accommodate anyone else. Case in point my trip to New York City. I went by myself, and I got to do the things I wanted to do and take my time doing them. I didn't feel rushed, and when I had decided I had seen all I wanted to at a certain place, I left. I didn't have to wait for someone, and I didn't feel guilty about wanting to leave when someone else wanted to stay longer. I had a blast, and I know that the trip still would have been fun had I gone with someone else. But, because it was just me, it was everything I wanted to do without any compromising. I loved it.

I have a friend who has a list of 30 things she wants to do before she's 30, which I think is awesome, and I really wish I had done that. I guess I still could actually. My point is, don't you have things you want to do or see while you are still able to? My mom has always said to me that she's glad that I'm doing things like going to New York or learning new skills and hobbies because she said she regrets not having done more things while she was still single. Now she's not saying she regrets getting married or anything, but she just wishes that she had taken advantage of her single years because doing those things become more difficult when you get married and then especially when you have kids.

Once you are married, yes you can do some things and most times you'll have the rest of your lives to do them in, but it'll be different. Comparatively, most people are single for such a shorter amount of time than when they are married. Take advantage of that time now, because who knows when Mr./Mrs. Right will come along. For those that have been single longer than you were hoping for/planning on, it's okay. Remember, you can still be happy and single! There are plenty of people that are in the same boat as you, although I'm sure sometimes it doesn't feel like it. You are terrific just how you are, and if you're doing all of these things in embracing your singleness, those times when you feel lonely aren't quite as bad or long. If you're feeling down, call me up. We'll commiserate together for a bit, and then we'll shake it off and have some fun. We'll be alone together. :)

It's okay to be single. Some are in this state longer than others, but while you're in it, enjoy it because you'll never know how long it will last or if you'll get it back. I found this video that is absolutely perfect, and I think is a great way to end my "Embracing Your Singleness" series. Enjoy!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Embracing Your Singleness--Step 2

The next step in embracing your singledom and learning more abut yourself is learning how to be okay with it.

Before that though, I'd like to address the married folks out there: We know you mean well and that you are just wanting us single folks to be as happy as you, but you should not say the following to us cause it'll only make us annoyed or feel worse (click here).

Ok, now my single friends: Our married friends are just trying to be helpful and want us to be happy. Just nod, smile, and ignore them if they are annoying you.

Part of how to be okay with being single is not to be angry or jealous of those around you that aren't. Granted, it's going to happen, but recognizing it and getting over the jealousy is better for you. The longer you stay jealous or angry about how you are single and someone else isn't, the longer you'll be single. Now why would you want to do that to yourself? You can be happy and be single. Believe me, it's possible. Those non-single folks were single once too; yes they might have forgotten, but it just takes a little reminding. But, they were once in your shoes, so give them a little credit and be a little more understanding when they try to give you advice. (Believe me I'm telling myself this too, not just you.)

So, we've established that you are not angry at those who are not single. Remember, this is about you not them. So being angry at them only hurts you. Ok, now back to you (he he he...): Start learning about yourself, what your likes/dislikes are. Just general ones at this point, not necessarily ones in relation to a significant other. (You'll get there eventually, but at the start, focus on you and general things.) Do you have any hobbies? Is there something you've always wanted to do or learn? Now is the time to learn/do those things because you're not distracted by someone else.

Start establishing who you are, figure out how you want your life to go. Is there a habit you've been meaning to break or one you want to start? Look at your life and re-evaluate it and change it if you don't like it. When you are single, it's easier to change your life, break habits, reach goals, and learn new things. Take advantage of that.

This is how you become okay with being single: learn more about yourself and what you like. Discover how you like your eggs. Once you do that, you're ready for the next step in embracing your singleness.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Embracing Your Singleness--Step 1

The first step to embracing your singleness is to realize it's okay that you are single. For some, it takes longer to come to terms with this fact and be okay. Some people are lost without being in a relationship, so they go into another (rebound) as soon as they can. If this is you, I say, take your time; revel in the fact that you are unattached.

Whenever I feel down in the fact that I am single, I just think about all the failing relationships in the world and how I'm glad I'm not in one. Ok, I realize this sounds terrible, but sometimes it gets me out of my "woe is me" pity party. I know of so many young couples that are getting divorced after only a few years of marriage. It's sad and horrible, but sometimes I feel like it's because they didn't take the time to really get to know one another.

At a certain age, we've all been told that the next step in our lives is to get married. So because that is the next logical step in our progression, they get married without really comprehending the reality of it all. Some are in love with the idea of being in love, and when they realize that marriage is work, they run home and decide they don't want to be married anymore. It wasn't what they thought it was going to be. Granted, I'm sure there might be other circumstances as to why they call it quits, but I am almost positive that in most cases what I'm talking about is the underlying problem.

When it's time to get married, you had better know your future spouse. Yes, you'll get to know him/her even more after you're married, but before then I hope you know him/her as much as you possibly can. Which then leads me to my next point: The only way you can really know your significant other is after you really know yourself. It's hard to know yourself very well when you're not single.

If you're dating, you'll always define yourself in terms of that relationship or that person unless you've already learned about yourself beforehand. And, if you continue to define yourself in terms of another, once that person leaves you'll have to start over again or at least fill that gap (perhaps with another person). Why would you want to keep doing that every time when you can do it once when you're single? Then, once you really know yourself, it makes it that much easier when you find yourself in a relationship. You won't waste your time since you'll know what will work for you and that is what you'll look for in a companion.

What do I mean? Well, have you seen Runaway Bride? In it, Julia Roberts' character always likes and does whatever her fiance at the time likes and does, and Richard Gere's character calls her out on it. Remember, she doesn't know what kind of eggs she likes? Well, it's not until after her and Richard Gere's failed attempt at marriage the 1st time around that Julia Roberts starts finding out who she is. She tries every kind of egg she can until she finds the one she likes. She does what she's always wanted to do: sell her unique lamps in New York City. She finds out who she is while she is single, and it is then that she realizes and decides that Richard Gere is what she wants. And it is when she's discovered herself that is she is ready to commit to marrying Richard Gere. Make sense now?

Ok, now that we've established why it's okay to be single (if you need more reasons, check out this), the next step is how to be okay with it.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

What's Important?

You know how some Sundays you just kind of go through the motions, but then there are other Sundays where you actually pay attention and you get something out of the lessons you hear. Well, I'm sad to admit that I've had more of the former kind of Sundays lately, and I realize this is my fault. But, today, I don't know what it was, (perhaps I subconsciously decided to listen instead of play on my iPod) I had a very meaningful Sunday where I actually learned something.

In Relief Society our lesson was about Thomas S. Monson's talk "Finding Joy in the Journey." In the talk President Monson talks about a man in the Vietnam War who was shot down and captured:
In the 1960s, during the Vietnam War, Church member Jay Hess, an airman, was shot down over North Vietnam. For two years his family had no idea whether he was dead or alive. His captors in Hanoi eventually allowed him to write home but limited his message to less than 25 words. What would you and I say to our families if we were in the same situation—not having seen them for over two years and not knowing if we would ever see them again? Wanting to provide something his family could recognize as having come from him and also wanting to give them valuable counsel, Brother Hess wrote—and I quote: “These things are important: temple marriage, mission, college. Press on, set goals, write history, take pictures twice a year.”
President Monson continues saying, "Let us relish life as we live it, find joy in the journey, and share our love with friends and family. One day each of us will run out of tomorrows."

Our teacher then gave us each a piece of paper and asked us to imagine ourselves in a similar situation. What would we tell our families what we thought was the most important? This is what I wrote:
Family is important; spend as much time with them as you can. Cherish your friendships. Love with all your heart even when you think it might not be appreciated. Live the gospel because it is the one truth that will get you through this life and into the next. Serve everyone especially when you don't feel like it because that's when you need to serve the most. Laugh and be happy because life is too short not to.
She then asked us to think about our lives and if we are actually living what we think is important, and if we are not, change so that we are. So with that I ask you, what's important?

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Last night, I was lucky enough to go with a friend to see a free pre-screening of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. The same person that created Shaun of the Dead and Hot Fuzz (which I've heard are hilarious, but have unfortunately never seen) directed and wrote Scott Pilgrim. You know, if that encourages you at all...

And for some more encouragement, here's the trailer:

This movie was A-MAZ-ING!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I absolutely loved it. It was hilarious and quirky and very original and creative and unique. Since this movie is based off a comic book, the movie is a mix between a video game and a comic book. It has scenes and shots that look like they were frames taken straight out of the graphic novel, and also battle scenes just like something that would be on Mortal Kombat or some similar video game. Remember when that 1st The Incredible Hulk movie came out and Ang Lee tried to make it like the comic book with triple frames etc.? Remember how it just looked dumb? Well Scott Pilgrim pulls it off and instead they look awesome. No really.

Now, I realize some of you might see this trailer and think, this looks stupid. But, you really need to just go with an open mind and just accept what happens. Suspend your disbelief, people! No, it's not reality, and you know what, that's ok.

It comes out Aug. 13th, and I highly recommend you go and see this movie. I don't say this very often, so you know it's a really great movie.

Random side note: They showed one preview before the showing, and it was this one:

I think the entire audience was slightly confused but open (you know, suspending their disbelief, giving it a chance) for the beginning. But, after the "suspense" and pure craziness started in the elevator, I think everyone was thinking, what is this? Who made this cause it looks stupid? And as soon as M. Night Shyamalan's name appeared on the screen, there was very loud audible sighs of exasperation and even some moans and groans of "Really?" Even I said out loud, "Oh of course" and rolled my eyes. It was HILARIOUS! And the 2 rows of movie critics that were also in the theater (especially the 2 I heard behind me) thought it was very telling. The one behind me said, "Wow. Just the appearance of his name brings exasperating sighs." Poor M. Night... perhaps he's loosing his touch?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Ridin' Solo--Teaser

With recent conversations (and even not so recent) that I've had with friends and family, I've decided on a new blog post series about being single. I realize this is nothing new to most of you, but I'll be talking about embracing your singleness and not fretting about the fact that you are at home watching Lost on a Friday night instead of on a date (that was not a poke and anyone in particular, I promise). We've all had tons of friends go off and get married and sometimes it feels like someone's getting married all the time and so we just don't want to hear about it any more. Many times, it just makes us feel down on ourselves. If they found someone, what's wrong with me? Well, I'm here to tell you: NOTHING!

In my opinion, while I'm sure being married is fun and an adventure in and of itself, being single is perfectly okay, too. My blog series will talk about why, what you can do while you're single that you can't when you're married, how to just enjoy this time in your life when you don't have to worry about someone else's future, etc. I'm excited because I think out of anyone, I probably need to hear this information the most.

So, to kick things off, Jason Derulo (you know the singer who has to sing his name at the beginninng of almost all of his songs) has a new song called "Ridin' Solo" that really encompasses my main idea of this blog series. I have posted the lyrics and the music video below. Enjoy.

Ridin' Solo by Jason Derulo

Yeeeeeyeeeah, yeah, yeah, yeah,
I'm feeling like a star, you can't stop my shine,
I'm loving cloud nine, my head's in the sky,
I'm solo, I'm riding solo,
I'm riding solo, I'm ridin' solo, sooloooo.

Yeah, I'm feeling good tonight, finally doing me and it feels so right, oh,
Time to do the things I like,
going to the club everything's alright, oh,

No one to answer to,
no one that's gonna argue, no,
And since I got the hold off me,
I'm living life now that I'm free, yeah,

Telling me to get my self together
now I got my self together, yeah,
Now I made it through the weather
better days are gonna get better

I'm so sorry that it didn't work out I'm moving on,
I'm so sorry but it's over now,
the pain is goooone,

I'm putting on my shades
to cover up my eyes,
I'm jumpin' in my ride,
I'm heading out tonight,
I'm solo, I'm riding solo,
I'm riding solo, I'm riding solo, sooloooo.
I'm feeling like a star, you can't stop my shine,
I'm loving cloud nine, my head's in the sky.
I'm solo, I'm riding solo,
I'm riding solo, I'm riding solo, sooloooo.

Now I'm feeling how I should,
never knew single could feel this good, oh,
Stop playing miss understood,
back in the game, who knew I would, oh,
So flex how I spread my wings, loving myself makes me wanna sing, oh,
Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah,

Telling me to get my self together
now I got my self together, yeah,
Now I made it through the weather
better days are gonna get better

I'm so sorry that it didn't work out I'm moving on,
I'm so sorry but it's over now,
the pain is goooone,

I'm putting on my shades
to cover up my eyes,
I'm jumpin' in my ride,
I'm heading out tonight,
I'm solo, I'm riding solo,
I'm riding solo, I'm riding solo, sooloooo.
I'm feeling like a star, you can't stop my shine,
I'm loving cloud nine, my head's in the sky.
I'm solo, I'm riding solo, I'm riding solo, I'm riding solo, sooloooo.
I'm riding solo, I'm riding solo, sooloooo

yeah it's like S... O... L... O...
S... O... L... O... S... O... L... O...
Living my life and got stress no more,

I'm putting on my shades
to cover up my eyes,
I'm jumpin' in my ride,
I'm heading out tonight,
I'm solo, I'm riding solo,
I'm riding solo, I'm riding solo, sooloooo.
I'm feeling like a star, you can't stop my shine,
I'm loving cloud nine, my head's in the sky.
I'm solo, I'm riding solo, I'm riding solo, I'm riding solo, sooloooo.
I'm riding solo, I'm riding solo, sooloooo

I'm riding solo, sooloooo,
I'm riding solo, sooloooo.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

One of my pet peeves...

So, ok, I'll admit, some of pet peeves cannot be helped by some people. There are some that do not have a complete handle on the English language, so while it bugs me, I try to let it go as best I can because even I am not perfect (shocking, I know). I also really don't like stupid people, but most times, these people cannot help it either, so again I try to not let it get to me too much (unless they pretend to be dumb on purpose, in which case I judge them even more). But, I do have one pet peeve that really gets me angry in most circumstances (and the ones that don't, I'll explain in a moment).

What is this pet peeve? Ok, here it is: I hate it when people ask me questions that they can look up or figure out for themselves.

Now, like I said earlier, there is always exceptions. If we are out somewhere and you can't remember the name of some movie and ask me (cause more than likely I'll know it), that's cool. If it's something that I'd probably know off the top of my head, no problem. I get it. It is those times that I don't have a problem with you asking me something. However, if you ask me something in which I have to look it up when you could look it up yourself, that's when I get angry.

Here's an example: I was on the road in the car when a friend texted me about something else. After answering her, I figured our little "conversation" was complete. But, then 5 minutes later I get another text from her asking me if I knew if some restaurant was in McKinney and where it was (completely unrelated to our previous conversation). Ummm... I don't live in McKinney, so I have no clue. But, here's the part that bugged me: This friend has an iPhone. This is the time you pull it out to figure out where this restaurant is. LOOK IT UP YOURSELF. That is why you have an iPhone for crying out loud!!! I said this to myself in the privacy of my car, so she doesn't know how peeved I was, and I only responded, "I don't know, sorry."

Example #2: I have a coworker who has now worked at the company for a year, which means he has handled at least 4 journal issues on his own now. However, every time he is nearing the final stages before his journal is printed (and I'm not kidding, it's been every time now), he comes and asks me what it is he has to double check on the issue. Really? You've already asked me this 3 months ago when your last issue came out, and 3 months before that, too. You've been working here for a year now, this should be old hat to you. And, if it's not... THERE'S A CHECKLIST ON THE COMPUTER!!!!! I'm serious, if he asks me one more time, I'm going to scream. Cause previously, I'm the super nice, "get along with everyone" employee that everyone thinks I am and knows me to be, so I've just answered his question every time and sent him on his merry way. His next issue's coming up... I'll let you know what happens.

I have other examples, but I think you get the point.

I feel like this happens alot at work because, I'll just come out and say it... most of my coworkers are lazy. And unfortunately, I'm too nice to tell them to go look it up for themselves, so I do it for them to answer their question. I can't tell you how many times in which they've asked something, like, so what day is the holiday we have off? or how do we do this process? or how do I find this? and I have to show them, look it up, or email them the process etc. that they had as much access to as I did. I realize I'm enabling them by doing it for them, but sometimes I feel like I'd rather just help them than cause waves by telling them to quit being lazy butts and look it up. There have been so many times in which I've wanted to just send them to this website.

I think the main reason I have this pet peeve is because of how I act when I come across a question. If I can't remember something or I'm curious about something, I'll research it to find out about it or look it up online so I can find out the answer. So, most times, I rarely ask people questions because I feel like I could probably figure it out myself. And in fact, I feel that's how I learn and remember it better; if I take the time to figure it out myself, it's more likely to stick. It's only those times when I can't find the answer, or someone other than me would know better how to handle the situation that I seek out help. I don't ask for help very often. I just feel like why waste someone else's time when you can just as easily do it yourself?

Don't worry, I'm not saying you can't ask me anything ever, but just be aware I might become annoyed with you if you ask me something that I believe you could find out for yourself. I'll still probably answer you, but I won't like it.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Ok, please tell me you've seen these Old Spice commercials. You have haven't you? Fine... I'll post a few for you. Here's the older one:
Awesome right? Ok, here is the most recent one:

Yes, these commercials are hilarious, but you know what? Old Spice has kicked it up a notch. How? Well they are having the Old Spice man (who's real name is Isaiah Mustafa) answer questions and respond to random people's comments on Old Spice's Youtube, Twitter, and Facebook pages (among other places). These responses are so funny! I couldn't stop watching them (and I was at work too!). There are a ton, and they keep adding more everyday.

Go to Old Spice's Youtube channel, and watch all of them because they will make you laugh so hard. Here are a few of my favorites:

Ok, I don't know how to figure out how to edit that one to make it my voice mail, but if one of you knows how, tell me so I can have it be my outgoing message! Monocle smile!
Who does indeed.

Seriously, go watch all of them. They are hilarious. All of the ones to Alyssa Milano are pretty funny, as well as the ones to Apolo Ohno.

And, you're welcome.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Today I am 24...

and it's a good normal feeling. I told a friend that I've felt like I've been 24 for awhile now, so it's not a big thing. Although, I will say I'm glad it's official now. I might not have told you this before, but I'm a huge fan of even numbers, so I'm REALLY glad I am no longer 23.

Today would have been like any other Monday, except for the fact that my friends and family are awesome! My family is out of town, but they all skyped me to sing Happy Birthday to me. I had tons of friends and cousins text me today (which, I'll be honest, I don't remember getting this many birthday texts before in previous years), several coworkers wished me a happy birthday (and one even put a banner up above my cube), one friend emailed along with a few companies who sent me birthday coupons, the guy who scans my card at the gym, the ATM, and of course there's always the multiple facebook wall posts.

Ahhh Facebook. What would we do without you? I love it, cause on my birthday it's the one time a year that I have high school friends I haven't talked to in YEARS tell me "Happy Birthday." I realize that as I age the number of people that remind me it's my birthday on facebook will slowly decline, but I'm going to enjoy it now while I can. I thanked every single person that wrote on my wall, and occasionally I started conversations with them. I don't know what it is, but I love doing that, especially when my birthday is the only time we talk.

Today would have been any other day, but because of my friends and family, it felt a little more special. Thanks guys!

Friday, July 09, 2010

I am okay.

So, I realize that my previous post was kind of depressing. I am sorry. I just had to get my thoughts and feelings out, and unfortunately/fortunately my blog is the easiest way for me to do that. Last week was my grandmother's funeral, and my friend was right when she told me it would be very cathartic. On the day of the service/burial I didn't even bother wearing any eye make-up cause it would be a waste. I'm glad I didn't, cause I cried during the whole service. But, after that, I was ok.

It was actually a good trip because I kind of got some closure and I got to see some of my extended family that I hadn't seen in years. I got to see my cousins, which was great because I really don't know them very well. I got to eat delicious Mexican food (several times in fact), and I got to talk and listen about why my grandma was so great.

It is times like these that I am so grateful for my knowledge of the Gospel and for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. My cousins, who are not members of the church, were having a very rough time, more so than me. My family tried to help them and share our testimony with them. I love knowing that I will see my grandma again and that if I live righteously I can be with her after this life. I just hope that my cousins can know that too.

Anyway, now that I'm back, I'm doing better, and I think my mom's doing okay. I'm sure there will be moments for all of us when we'll wonder where grandma is, or remember we should tell her something, only to realize she's not here or we can't tell her. But, I guess that's all part of losing someone, huh?
It'll be okay. I'm okay, and for now, that's... okay.

P.S. I promise I'll have better posts soon. :)